July 8, 2014


The West Campus Sports Medicine program sponsored its first symposium June 26 to educate athletic trainers, coaches, physical therapists and school nurses on common sports-related healthcare issues in pediatric and adolescent athletes.

In a filled-to-capacity seminar, the Sports Medicine clinical care team spoke on topics that ranged from common injuries and rehabilitation to concussions and nutrition.

“The seminar was an excellent opportunity for participants to gather information on how to keep their athletes healthy and to let them know that our Sports Medicine program can provide help when needed,” said Dr. Megan May, a Texas Children’s orthopedic surgeon and one of the organizers of the symposium.

Attendees were asked to complete surveys at the end of the seminar. Overall, the enormous feedback was very positive with one participant commenting, “This was a top rated first class seminar from start to finish. I was very impressed with the dedication and expertise of all the speakers. Way to go TCH.”

Texas Children’s Sports Medicine program uses an interdisciplinary team approach to diagnose and treat young athletes while placing an emphasis on wellness and injury prevention. It’s the only sports medicine program in the Houston area that focuses exclusively on the unique needs of child athletes.

If you haven’t checked out the Sports Medicine Clinic at West Campus in Katy, you’ll be impressed. Our facility houses a 3,000-square-foot gym, two radiology exam rooms, three casting rooms and 16 exam rooms, and offers advanced technologies, including robotic dynamomentry for isokinetic testing, motion recording and analysis to enhance rehabilitation.

Click here to learn more about Texas Children’s Sports Medicine Clinic.


Watch the newest “I am Texas Children’s” video featuring employee XiaYu Chen in West Campus – Nutrition and GI. “I love working at Texas Children’s because of the high quality of patient care,” XiaYu said. “I am proud to be part of it.”

Check out her video, and find out how you and your coworkers can be featured in the “I Am Texas Children’s” section on Connect.


By Dr. David Wesson

As the head of Texas Children’s Level 1 pediatric trauma center, I have treated many children with severe head injuries sustained from vehicle crashes, sudden falls and recreation-related mishaps. One injury that is particularly heart wrenching to witness is abusive head trauma in infants. One of the most important missions of our trauma center is to prevent these injuries from happening in the first place.

Whether accidental or not, Shaken Baby Syndrome, the most common form of abusive head trauma, happens more frequently than you think. Just looking at the statistics from our pediatric trauma center, it is the number one cause of injury-related deaths in children during the first four years of life. As you can see from this pie chart, the largest child abuse age group comprises infants less than six months old.

childabusestatsShaking a baby can lead to severe injury or even death. Just a few forceful shaking motions in a period of just a few seconds can cause tremendous brain damage where the child may never be normal again.

Abusive head trauma is a community-wide problem that permeates all socioeconomic backgrounds. I believe the most effective way to address this epidemic is through public awareness, universal parental education and community involvement.

I encourage everyone concerned with child health to support The Period of PURPLE Crying, a broad-based initiative to increase awareness about the effects of Shaken Baby Syndrome. I first learned about the full extent of this program and its scientific rationale in April when the program’s founder, Dr. Ronald Barr, a pediatrician and world expert on infant crying, came to Houston to deliver the seminar.

The PURPLE acronym stands for the six characteristics of a newborns’ behavioral activities in the first few weeks and months of life. While incessant cries from a newborn can be frustrating and anger provoking, it’s important for parents and other caretakers to remember that this is a normal and temporary phase in their child’s development.

I am grateful to our physicians and nurses at the Pavilion for Women for implementing The Period of Purple Crying program to educate new parents before they leave the hospital about the dangers of shaking a baby as well as providing them with helpful information on child development, crying and managing parental stress.

In partnership with Dr. Charles Cox, medical director of the pediatric trauma program at Memorial Hermann Children’s Hospital, our goal is to ensure all birthing hospitals in the Houston area adopt this program and to increase public awareness of the problem of abusive head trauma with the help of our local public health departments, child abuse prevention experts, city leadership and other community stakeholders.

But, our mission doesn’t stop there. We need everyone’s participation. Spread the message of The Period of PURPLE Crying initiative to your colleagues, family members, new parents, grandparents, caregivers, neighbors and anyone else you come across.

“Our newborns’ lives are at stake. Will you join me on this mission?,” says Dr. David Wesson.

July 1, 2014


Originally published in the Houston Business Journal on June 20, 2014.

There is a quote from Peter Drucker that has always resonated with me: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

Taking that to heart, I believe that as a leader you can’t successfully plan for the future in a quarterly or even monthly meeting. Rather, it is a task you must think about every day.

A lot of CEOs in health care worry constantly about changing reimbursement models or the impact of new health care laws on the future. While there’s no disputing that these have a great potential to influence the way we provide care to patients, it’s not what occupies my thoughts.

I wouldn’t say that I lose sleep over anything in particular, mostly because I don’t sleep much to begin with. I’m usually up by 4 a.m. and, in the peaceful serenity in this time of day, I do find myself thinking a lot about my hospital: where we’ve been, where we’re going and how we can get there.

More than anything, I think about the employees. Am I helping nurture our employees’ growth by providing them the tools and opportunities they need to carry out their ideas and visions to the greatest extent of their capabilities and talents?

As a leader, if you foster a culture centered on your employees, you will be amazed at the extraordinary effort they put forth.

Great organizations invest in their people by developing and maintaining a robust infrastructure of programs and benefits that meet the personal and professional needs of employees, enabling them to thrive. I believe there are three key elements of that infrastructure:

  • Financial wellbeing – such as pension plans, competitive wages, benefits and incentives and transportation subsidies.
  • Physical wellbeing – comprehensive employee health and wellness programs, employee assistance programs, financial assistance programs, onsite medical clinic and other support programs
  • Career wellbeing – learning and development opportunities and reward and recognition programs

In my experience, I’ve found that placing a great emphasis on selecting the right talent and investing in employees, helping them develop and hone their skills and ensuring they are happy and engaged leads to amazing results.

Loyalty to the mission of the organization is the ultimate goal. When you have something special that your employees can rally behind, you need to care for and cultivate it.

There will always be predictions about the future of our industry, with forecasters predicting the imminent doom and gloom, but I’ve never been caught up in this. As leaders, we should be optimistic about the future instead of losing time fretting about what could be.

If organizations attract talent, build leaders, invest in employees, demonstrate the dignity and respect they deserve, regardless of external changes and regardless of predictions, the organization not only survives, but thrives.

What actually does keep CEOs up at night?

According to a study of 1,344 qualitative interviews of CEOs in 68 countries:

63 percent of CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills in the workforce.

58 percent are concerned about the rising cost of labor in emerging countries.

64 percent say creating a skilled workforce is a priority in the next three years.

93 percent CEOs recognize their company needs to change its strategy for attracting and retaining talent.

61 percent of CEOs say they haven’t yet acted on the plans to attract and retain talent because about two-thirds believe their company’s HR department isn’t well-prepared for the changes needed to respond to change.


Texas Children’s Heart Center is adding two new members to its Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program team: pediatric and adult cardiologist, Dr. Peter Ermis, and pediatric and adult cardiologist, Dr. Wilson Lam. Texas Children’s Heart Center is ranked #2 nationally in cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.

“With the arrival of Drs. Ermis and Lam, the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program team is now among the largest in the nation,” says Dr. Wayne Franklin, director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Texas Children’s and assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. “The growth of our program further enables us to provide exceptional care to pediatric and adult patients with congenital heart disease in our community.”

Dr. Peter Ermis
Ermis, who also serves as assistant professor at Baylor, has clinical interests in determining quality improvement measurements in the care of adults with congenital heart disease, transitioning congenital heart disease patients from pediatric to adult congenital based care and stress echocardiography utilization in adults with congenital heart disease. His research interests include resource utilization in adults with congenital heart disease; transition and location of care for adults with congenital heart disease; pulmonary valve replacement in adults with repaired tetralogy of Fallot; long-term follow-up in adults with repaired transposition of the great arteries; stress echocardiography utilization in adults with congenital heart disease; and mechanical support in adults with congenital heart disease.

Ermis is a member of the American Academy of Cardiology, American Academy of Pediatrics and the International Society on Adult Congenital Heart Disease. He is excited to become a part of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program team and work with world class physicians and staff who strive for excellence in patient care, education and research. Ermis looks forward to providing valuable care to a unique group of adults that often fall between the realm of general pediatric and adult cardiology. He will primarily see patients at Texas Children’s Health Centers – The Woodlands as well as the hospital’s main location in the Texas Medical Center.

Ermis received an undergraduate degree at Rice University. He earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and went on to complete his residency and pediatric and adult cardiology fellowship at Baylor.

Dr. Wilson Lam
Lam, who also serves as assistant professor at Baylor, has clinical interests in adult congenital heart disease, primarily electrophysiology issues, complex arrhythmia ablation and lead extraction. His research interests include arrhythmias in adult congenital heart disease, medical education and established technology in novel areas.

Lam is a member of the American College of Cardiology, American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Physicians. He is honored to be a part of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program team which cares for unique patients with complex anatomies and challenging cardiovascular issues. Lam looks forward to joining and contributing to this state-of-the-art program for a medical specialty that is still relatively new nationwide. He will primarily see patients at Texas Children’s Health Centers – Sugar Land as well as the hospital’s main location in the Texas Medical Center.

Lam received an undergraduate degree from Rice University. He earned his medical degree and completed his residencies in combined internal medicine and pediatrics at Baylor with adult cardiovascular diseases and electrophysiology fellowships at Baylor, Texas Children’s and the Texas Heart Institute.

The Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program enables patients with congenital heart disease to receive seamless continuation of care from birth to adolescence to adulthood. The multidisciplinary team of experienced congenital heart disease specialists is equipped to treat the entire spectrum of medical and surgical problems throughout life, including health and wellness, family planning, and preventative medicine.


This summer, the city of Houston is honored to host the 2014 Transplant Games of America. Running from Friday, July 11, to Tuesday, July 15, this biannual, Olympic-style event celebrates patient and family athletes who have been touched by the life-saving gift of organ transplantation. Participants from all over the country will journey to Houston to compete in a variety of sporting events from track and field to swimming, among many other events.

As a major sponsor of this event, Texas Children’s Hospital would like to extend the opportunity to its employees to volunteer. Anyone interested should register through the Transplant Games of America website. All times are tentative and are subject to change.

Visit http://www.teamtexastransplant.com/ for more information about the Transplant Games of America.